Eating your way around Nashville
Nashville has a unique vibe that mixes music city and regal Southern charm with a deep country roots and blue-collar ethics. Eating around Nashville is just as eclectic, with culinary influences from The South, Mexico, France and Italy.
Unique Flavors Created by Mixing Cultures from Around the World
Las Paletas is located in the trendy 12 South neighborhood in Nashville, and has been serving up gourmet popsicles for the last several years. By the name, it’s clear the frozen treats from this restaurant have Mexican roots, but this shop goes much further, combining very unusual ingredients together to take advantage of the complimentary tastes. In the summer, you’ll find Las Paletas by the long line crowding the cobblestone sidewalk. Make sure to try a flavor you’d normally deem unfit for a sweet treat, the avocado and pistachio popsicles are just as delicious as the mint chocolate chip and strawberry ones.
Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria right up the street from Las Paletas, creates traditional Italian dishes using passed down family recipes and super fresh ingredients. The Ella salad, named after the owner’s goddaughter, is a unique blend of feta cheese, olives, roma tomatoes, pine nuts and artichoke hearts, and topped with a strawberry vingerette. If pizza is more up your alley, order the Last Request and you’ll never want to eat any other pizza besides this ever again. The Last Request has black olives, pepperoni, salami, Italian sausage, Portobello mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, green peppers, extra cheese, red onion and, a surprise ingredient, jalapenos. You might need someone to pull the car around for you; it’s going to be difficult to stand up!
Across town, East Nashville has built up a buzz around its new foodie scene and Café Fundamental is one of those reasons. The master chef Jaime Watson says his menus are created from a mix of southern classics and his French cooking school lessons. With a small but impressive brunch menu, Café Fundamental introduces quiches, duck hash with poached eggs, and artesian French toasts and gourmet cheeses.
Nuvo Burrito is the newest burrito restaurant to make its way into Nashville, and by the impressive awards and loyal fan base, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere any time soon. Nuvo Burrito specializes in two menu items- burritos and quesadillas. But with ingredients like artichoke hearts, seasoned Gulf shrimp, Texas style beef brisket and mashed sweet potatoes, this isn’t your average burrito joint. Fan Favorite ‘Heart of Dixie” combines mashed sweet potatoes, Vidalia onions, cole slaw, sweet relish, black beans, Monterey jack cheese, and bacon bits for a flavor only found at Nuvo.
Break out your fancy Sunday best and maybe some white gloves for a traditional tea and sandwich lunch at Savannah Tea Company in historic Germantown near Downtown Nashville. Perfect for bridesmaid luncheons, this elegant small sandwich affair is throwback to Southern ladies who brunched in days gone by. Join Savannah Tea Company for their traditional Saturday high tea service complete with scones, finger sandwiches, quiche, soups and gourmet desserts.
There is barbeque war that goes down in Nashville, Memphis, Kansas City and Texas and so far there is no clear winner. Hog Heaven BBQ near Centennial Park and Vanderbilt University is known for serving up southern BBQ for the last 25 years. Their legendary “white BBQ sauce” has won several awards and has been featured on Food Network more than a couple times. Try the hand pulled pork or chicken, the BBQ pickles, black-eyed peas, and blackberry cobbler for the most authentic and delicious BBQ you’ve ever tried. I promise.
No Nashville foodie fest can be complete without mentioning the historic Loveless Café near Natchez Trace, a traditional southern soul food restaurant that has served patrons for 62 years. Famous for their country ham, skillet fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and chicken dumplings, Loveless Café also has sweet jellies and jams bottled up and available for purchase to take home with you.
And, lastly, if you follow a ‘When in Rome’ lifestyle, than you have to find an open mic for singer songwriters and try your hand at a few tunes. Check out Bluebird Café or The Stage on Broadway and reserve your spot to sing your heart out.
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